No. 1 Martin Place

Stairway to
workplace heaven

The Challenge


A significant part of the project at 1 Martin Place was the introduction of a staircase which became the hero of the project and the main connection point across all seven floors. Our challenge was to create cohesion in a complex and architecturally designed environment that could support the client’s vision for the building as a collaborative and flexible working environment for staff.

The client’s idea of being a leading creative workspace formed part of the design’s intent. Conveying warmth, surprise and a distinct sense of place was key to the brief.

Our thinking


When a client’s design ethos in the workplace is about openness and connecting people, it’s an excellent start and this financial client was keen to replicate it across its three Sydney sites. Our strategic thinking directly supported these values and drove the wayfinding and placemaking outcome across the seven floors of the office fitout.



Taking a human-centred approach, we investigated the worker’s day to day experiences to ensure their needs were addressed throughout the project. We designed identification and graphic treatments as well as built forms to serve as placemaking features, punctuating the spaces in thought provoking, yet synergistic expressions. We also set out to design clear and concise wayfinding which would allow people to find meaning through exploration and discovery of the space.

We created an overlay of signage, graphics and placemaking pieces which can both unify and activate the whole space.



The comprehensive wayfinding and placemaking strategy complements the architectural confidence of 1 Martin Place while helping staff to seamlessly connect to the space’s seven floors. Signage elements are brought to life with the same visual language used for the central hero staircase. The space commands a different way of working, in sync with the needs of its workers. There is no mistaking its message, yet the result is intuitive, warm, human – even surprising – such as the flashing neon word displays and a large-scale digital clock that are standout examples of typographic form integrated into the space.

Shifting the workplace’s relationship with creativity proves that placemaking and wayfinding has potential way beyond function.



Wayfinding Merit Award – 2017 SEGD Global Design Awards


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